Saturday, December 14, 2013


In a most embarrassing move, the House of Representatives left Washington yesterday for yet another long vacation and recess--leaving any type of immigration reform legislation on their desks.

The U.S. Senate had passed a comprehensive immigration reform package back on June 27, 2013--some six months ago.  The U.S. Bishops' Conference had supported that reform legislation which had broad bi-partisan support on a 68 to 32 vote.

The Bill was sent to the House where it has languished amidst a myriad of claims and counter-claims about its content, need, and application.  Speaker John Boehner would not allow the Senate Bill to be brought up for a vote in the House where many thought it would actually pass.

In the meantime, we continue to leave some 11 million unauthorized residents stuck in the shadows of our society.  They live their daily lives surrounded by fear, threats, loss of dignity and respect, and often exploited.  This lack of Congressional action to fix our badly outdated immigration laws is a modern day scandal, and surely one of the greatest social and moral evils present in our country.

What will happen when Congress reconvenes after the holidays?  Will there be any chances for action on the Senate Bill?  Will House members be able to break through the anti-immigrant rhetoric and take the bold steps needed to pass this legislation?

What is amazing is how far out of step the House is with the overall American public on the issue of immigration reform.  All recent polls show strong public support for our immigrant brothers and sisters.  One recent poll showed these results:

57% replied that immigrants should stay, and apply for citizenship;
11% replied that they should remain, but not be allowed to apply for citizenship;
26 % replied that immigrants should be required to leave;
5% were unsure.

That means that 68% of Americans believe the unauthorized immigrants in our midst should be allowed to remain the country.

There is a terrific website which tracks all polls across the country on immigration issues, and I strongly recommend it:

We don't give up even in the midst of the House intransigence.  We increase our prayers for these brothers and sisters in need of our help; we continue to convince family members and friends about the positive value of our immigrants; and we send emails/letters to our House members urging action on immigration reform.

With the mid-term elections in early November 2014 on the horizon, we must not allow political brinkmanship to further torpedo needed comprehensive immigration reform.

St. Toribio Romo, intercede for our immigrant brothers and sisters!!